Gillian Ayres Obituary: one of Britain's most influential abstract painters has died at age of 88

Gillian Ayres, Britain’s influential abstract painter has died at age of 88 on April 11 2018. As one of most significant female abstract painter, Gillian Ayres was known for her paintings and printmaking using huge vibrant colours. Among many others, The Guardian, BBC, New York Times have issued obituaries to commemorate this great artist.


Gillian Ayres was born in London in 1930, studied at Camberwell School of Art from 1945 to 1950. She was the only woman in the most important postwar exhibition of British art, ‘Situation’ (Royal Society of Arts) in 1960. In the nearly 30 years since her graduation, Ayres has held several teaching positions. She was the first female Head of Painting at a British art school in1978. She was shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize in 1989, elected Royal Academician in 1991 and awarded an Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011. 


Sailing Over the Edge: Gillian Ayres' Abstract Painting 1979 to the Present, the major solo exhibition of Gillian Ayres was presented at CAFA Art Museum in July 2017. This is her first exhibition in China and it comprises a large number of large scale paintings from 1979 onwards, which offers China an opportunity to see the complex and sensuous art of Gillian Ayres. Gillian Ayres herself has said: "for some time we have gone through a period where people quite like non-beautiful things. I do like beauty, absolutely. Titian, Rubens and Matisse all were in love with beauty. I like the idea that people can lose their feet looking at art - or even at nature. I love the idea that in our life we can be lifted by looking at art. My only regret is that I am not well enough to travel to Beijing and to see China".


Gillian Ayres has paintings in the collections of major museums including MOMA New York and Tate London, Museum of Modern Art in Brasilia, National Gallery of Australia, British Museumin London and CAFA Art Museum in Beijing. She has exhibited widely from Britain to Europe, from India to the USA


As Gillian Ayres’ representive gallery in Asia, PIFO Gallery will present a retrospective exhibition for Gillian Ayres in September 2018, bringing the legacy of this great artist to Chinese collectors and art lovers.




April 27, 2018